Former New York Giants tight end Jake Ballard, who had been in training camp with the Arizona Cardinals, announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday. Here is part of Ballard's statement, released via Pro Football Talk.
"Yesterday I made the difficult decision to retire from the game of football," Ballard said in a statement. "I love this game and have put my heart and soul into it for as long as I can remember. After sustaining a serious knee injury while playing for the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, my body never felt the same. Having a quality of life after football is very important to me and I have witnessed it taken away from others. I will miss the game tremendously, but I am ready for this next chapter in my life. It was an honor and a privilege to play for the NY Giants, New England Patriots, and most recently the Arizona Cardinals."
Ballard caught 38 passes for the Giants in 2011, but tore his ACL in the Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots. The Giants lost him in the offseason when the Patriots claimed Ballard when the Giants attempted to pass Ballard through waivers in order to put him on injured reserve.
Ballard did not play in 2012, and played only eight games last season for Arizona, catching seven passes.
Ballard's retirement may have an impact on the Giants in a roundabout fashion. Before Ballard's announcement the Cardinals had a plethora of tight ends including Ballard, second-round pick Troy Niklas, free-agent signee John Carlson and Rob Housler. An established pass-catcher, many thought Housler would be the odd man out in Arizona and a potential target for the Giants. That may no longer be realistic.
Anyway, feel free to offer your thoughts on Ballard, Giants fans.